Three people were arrested in Bengaluru for hoarding and black-marketing COVID-19 anti-viral drug Remdesivir. Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime, Bengaluru, said that the Central Crime Branch conducted a drive across Bengaluru and the three were arrested for selling Remdesivir at an exorbitant price.
The three accused had illegal stock of the injection and were selling each vial at Rs 10,500, which is much higher than the Maximum Retail Price, which was capped to Rs 3,500 by the Union government. Eleven injection bottles were also seized from the three accused, the police said.
Two of the accused have been identified as Rajesh and Shakeeb, who run Gurushree Medicals, and against whom a case has been registered in Sudguntepalya. The third accused has been identified as Sohail, against whom a case has been registered in Madiwala police station.
Further investigation is underway to find out where the three got the injection.
The arrests come amid reports that hospitals in Bengaluru saw a shortage of Remdesivir earlier this week, after which the Karnataka government placed a tender for 80,000 vials to ease demand. This shortage is being reported not just in Karnataka but across many parts of the country, which is why the government recently decided to ramp up production and make the drug cheaper. The Union government had also said that the manufacturers of Remdesivir have volunteered to cap the price to less than Rs 3,500. Drug companies like Cadila Healthcare, Dr Reddy's and Cipla have cut prices of their respective brands of the Remdesivir injection.
Earlier, Karnataka Home Minister had warned that stringent action will be initiated against those caught hoarding and black-marketing Remdesivir.